Simply put, if you want to get a job, there are a few things you’re going to need to do to make that happen. Setting up—and using—a LinkedIn account may be useful. If that’s all you’re doing, though, then you’re going to wind up disappointed (and, you know, unemployed). LinkedIn seems to make up the sum total of so many job search advice columns, but there’s so much more to it than that.
I’ve said before that the job search is really about relationship building. Your Facebook friends are—more likely than not—not going to be the ones to offer you a job. And really, the same is true of your LinkedIn connections. There’s no substitute for face-to-face relationship building, which is why I recommend that all young people, especially recent college grads, attend conventions, show up at restaurants and bars, and be alert as to who’s around them and hiring.
What else do I recommend? For starters, check out a recent article from Mashable.com, which claims to offer seven pieces of job search advice not typically given by college career centers. I don’t know if that’s true or not—I happen to think a number of college career centers do excellent work—but these points are all good ones, regardless:
- Reach out to people you admire—people within your industry—and introduce yourself. Ask for advice about breaking into the industry. Show some initiative, and you may even end up with a new mentor—or employer. (“Equally important is returning emails to any and all potential employers,” the article adds. “Just acknowledging someone’s email can go a long way in establishing his or her impression of you.”)
- Clean up your social footprints—remembering that employers will be checking up on your social media sites.
- Move past LinkedIn and network in person, the article suggests—hey! Where have we heard that before? (From the article: “Expect awkward interactions, long nights and lots of business cards. They’re all part of the game.”)
- Add your resume to social media sites—perhaps in the form of a linked Google doc.
- The article recommends that you “build something yourself”—whether that’s an online resume, a YouTube channel, or even an app. This shows that you’re passionate, knowledgeable, and skilled.
- Replace your .edu email address with a more grown-up one.
- Use a digital calendar to remind yourself to reconnect with former bosses and professors, every now and then; if you’re someone they think of routinely, they’ll be more likely to recommend you for possible work.
Some of these tips do involve electronic tools—which you can’t do without, truly—and others are more relationship-based. All of them have the ring of good advice to me, and they’re certainly smart tips for any recent college grad to follow.